Does Halloween signal the starting of a whole season of unhealthy eating for you? The Halloween candy is out and we buy early for the best selection. Then it's in the house calling our name, and we eat some of it (or all of it?) before the day arrives! After the trick-or-treat event, we have leftover candy in the house. And the next thing you know, it's Thanksgiving and that starts the whole holiday feeding frenzy until New Year's!
Don't tear your hair out!
Here are 10 tips to survive Halloween in a healthy way and head into the holiday season on a better note!
If you'll be handing out candy to trick-or-treat visitors, consider buying candy that you don't even like. That way you'll be less likely to eat it.
- Get candy that isn't too high in fat and calories, such as lollipops or peppermint patties or hard candy.
- Buy your candy at the last minute. This serves three purposes: you won't eat a bunch of it ahead of time, you'll probably get a better price because it will be marked down, and you might not find the kind you really like to tempt you because they might be out of it already!
- Wear a costume while handing out candy. It will be more fun, so maybe you won't think about the candy as much. Try to come up with a costume that discourages eating, like something with a mask or long fake fingernails.
- Rent a movie and pop some popcorn. Hit "pause" when the doorbell rings. The movie and healthy snacks will keep your mind off the candy.
- Keep the kids home (or invite your adult friends) and throw a costume party. Have a contest with several categories of winners (scariest, funniest, most original) and serve healthier treats like caramel apples or popcorn balls. Order pizza, or make your own using turkey sausage and reduced fat pepperoni, reduced fat cheese and lots of veggies.
- Take any leftovers from the candy or party to the office, or (heaven forbid!) throw them out!
- If your kids do go out to collect treats, have them hide those treats where you won't find them. And suggest they ration the treats out over several days so the candy doesn't fill them up and prevent them from eating healthier fare.
- If you don't have children, consider leaving your lights off (the signal in most communities that you're not inviting trick-or-treaters) and go out for the evening. Go see a movie, or wear a costume to a zany restaurant where it would be appreciated!
- Rake leaves by hand to burn calories (be sure to wear work gloves to avoid blisters!) It will help undo some candy munching. You might also chop and stack firewood, trim back the shrubs, or do other yard work in the crisp autumn air.
- When Halloween is over, start planning your healthy Thanksgiving meal. Look at cookbooks, magazines, newspapers and web sites for lower fat, lower sugar versions of some of your holiday favorites and get ready to enjoy a day of relaxation, or at least a day with family and friends even if you're working hard in the kitchen (at least you're not working at the office!) Focus on the warmth of relationships and the fireside, and stuff the turkey only!